Friday, December 01, 2006

Jenny Levine's Gaming & Libraries

I just finished the latest issue of Library Technology Reports, called Gaming & Libraries: Intersection of Services, and I'm re-inspired by the power of gaming. This issue covers school, academic and public libraries, and it's a very entertaining read. Jenny really drives home what a powerful marketing tool gaming can be, and that you don't have to break the bank to get started. If you're on the fence about gaming, or if you want to remember why you got involved in the first place, I highly recommend this publication.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Fame and fortune

The Information Literacy Game has been mentioned in The Shifted Librarian! Hurrah!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gaming Presentation

I am developing a presentation for library staff on gaming in education and libraries. As soon as it is ready, I will place the PowerPoint file here.


On the Bibliographic Gaming blog, I found this link to ADRIFT, a text based game generator. The software looks like it could produce quite complex games, in which you stipulate the rooms, objects, people, and actions that need to be accomplished to win. I think to make it interesting you would definitely need a lot of graphics and audio, and I am uncertain how much support there is for that in the program.

It might be interesting to use the game generator along with many pictures of the library (or the entire campus!) to make some sort of adventure game. The purpose could be to teach about a particular subject or to explore the environment in a more interesting manner.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Info Lit Game

The Info Lit Game I have been working on is now being put through play-testing by staff and student workers. Following some suggestions, I have added the capability for solo play. One person can play the game and is given 10 seconds to answer a question before it is marked wrong. 5 wrong answers and the player loses. After some play testers said the time interval was too short, I increased it to 15 seconds, and then 20 seconds.

Info Lit Game

Here is a screenshot from the Game:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Games in Education research

Futurelab has reports on research about teaching with games, including surveys on students' and teachers' attitudes towards gaming.

Information Literacy Game

The game I have been working on is just about ready for some serious play testing. We will be rolling it out to students some First Year Studies classes to get feedback. After some tweaks and fixes, etc. we should be ready to roll it out to (hopefully) much acclaim in the Spring Semester.

If you would like to try it out, go to this link.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Second Life Security Breach

The folks at Second Life have just discovered that their servers were compromised. The investigation is still ongoing. More details are here. To hopefully minimize some of the damage of the data loss, all Second Life users will need to change their passwords before they can re-access the game.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Web Conference on Games

I will be attending the September web conference entitled "Exploring the Learning Potential of Multiplayer Online Games." It really looks interesting.

If you're interested, go to Academic Impressions to learn more and register.

Been Away

I'm back. Heavier blogging will probably not resume until I finish The Game I've been working on. Things are coming along nicely, but it's still not ready for people to see, hence no link yet. I am hoping to be finished within the next month, when I will put up a link here to the game.

I am also developing a proposal for Computers In Libraries 2007, to show off the game.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ajax Hacks

Just got a copy of the book Ajax Hacks for review and it is awesome. I hope to definitely upgrade the coding in the game I'm working on and perhaps add some other cool functionality.

Like all the Hacks series of books, this one has loads of codes and spiffy projects to try. The only problem is finding enough time to try them all.

Game Maker

Some nifty (free!) software that I have been looking at is called Game Maker and (big surprise) you make games with it. It is fairly easy to use, at least at the admittedly easy tasks I'm attempting (I'm sure the learning curve will steepen quickly if I try to more than implement pong) and there seems to be a large user community that can help with support.

This may be another possible method of making an info lit game. Further reports after I have a chance to fiddle around with it some more.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Current Projects

I am currently working on an online board game in the style of Trivial Pursuit. I am hoping it will prove a useful addition to our current instructional program. The idea is that 2 to 4 players can play, answering questions about various aspects of information literacy. It is written using Ajax, meaning Javascript and XML.

After that, I would like to develop a sort of scavenger hunt game in some sort of virtual space like Active Worlds. The idea here would be to have students exercise various information literacy skills in order to solve problems in-game.

Newest Information Today

The June 2006 Information Today is out and there is an article entitled 'Gaming: The Next Hot Technology for Libraries?' by Donald T. Hawkins and Barbara Brynko, which is a good read. It is also where I learned about the Virtual Bibliographic Instruction world that Mark Puterbaugh has created.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Eastern PA's VBI

A cryptic title, yes. But I have been exploring the VBI (Virtual Bibliographic Instruction) world created by Mark Puterbaugh at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Does that make it clearer?

This is amazing. The VBI uses the software and services of Active Worlds, to create a virtual reality world in which students can access databases, the catalog, virtual reference, and also take a virtual tour of the library.

You can be a virtual tourist in Active Worlds and take a spin around VBI yourself. You just need to download the Active Worlds browser.

You can also see a picture of VBI here and also read a little bit more about the project here.

I can't wait to start building a virtual library for Jackson Library.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Game Culture & Technology Lab

Found this great website, the Game Culture & Technology Lab, hosted by the School of the Arts at the University of California-Irvine. The site has a wiki, blog, lists of useful resources, and games. Registering gets you access to a great deal of content, with an interesting twist. You are ranked according to how much effort you put into helping to develop the site.

Points are assigned for various activites that you can do on the site, including suggesting websites to be added, contributing to the wiki, tagging, commenting, and playing games! You can even get negative points if you do badly at the games.

I've signed up and am at Slacker status. This is such a great site, I hope to improve my ranking.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Social Impact Games

Another nifty website I just found is called Social Impact Games. They have an index to over 200 'serious' games, divided up by category. The Education and Learning section has 37 games teaching a variety of topics, including Computer Science, Management, Physics, Chemistry, and others. There is also an extensive bibliography. I imagine I'll be spending a lot of time at this site.

Serious Games Source

The Serious Games Summit people have launched a website dedicated to building up the serious games community, called Serious Games Source. It includes message boards, a job board, and lots of extras. Unfortunately, much of the good content will require a paid membership.

Also, don't forget the Serious Games Summit is October 30-31 in Washington, D.C.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Future Play 2006

Found a new conference, called Future Play 2006. It will be held October 10-12 in Ontario, Canada. They are accepting paper submissions through July 28, poster submissions through August 18, and GAME submissions through September 8.

Maybe, just maybe, I could have a game put together to submit by then!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Links

I am trying to gather as many links to useful gaming, education, and library related material as possible. If you know of a good site or resource not included here, let me know in comments.

Gaming in Libraries Symposium 2005

If, like me, you missed the Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium in Chicago in December 2005, then you can at least read what some of the bloggers in Bloggers Alley wrote about it. Here are a few posts:

Hidden Peanuts

The Shifted Librarian

Another one from The Shifted Librarian

Tame the Web

You can also see PDFs of the presentations at the Gaming in Libraries blog.

And if you're getting really excited about gaming in libraries, planning for the 2006 symposium is under way. It will be held December 3-5, 2006, and registration will be opening later in the year. You can keep track of news about it at the Gaming in Libraries blog.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hello, world!

This is the first post on Library Games. This blog will be concerned with the intersection of the topics of games, gaming, education, libraries, and bibliographic instruction.